Part 31 – Ambrose and Laetissa and Hildreth

Laetissa tried to pull away from him. Until the stakes came flying their way.

Then, she ran in full earnest, half-dragging him along.

He released her wrist and out-paced her easily.

“Wait! Ambrose!”

I will not be captured.

“Ambrose!”

I will not go back to that place.

“Wait!”

I won’t.

“I can’t run as fast as you.”

I WON’T!

“Please. Wait!”

Ambrose could see the road up ahead. His mind raced. That’s where I want to be. But it’s wide open. If I step onto the road, I’ll be an easy target. I won’t get a chance to flag anyone down. But.

I want to go home.

I don’t want to be captured.

I don’t want to go back there ever again.

Huh?

He stopped and listened for Laetissa’s voice or her footfalls.

Footsteps.

Light.

Not Laetissa’s.

Hildreth’s scent grew stronger.

Ambrose ducked behind a massive oak tree and crouched low.

“Hello, vampire.”

Panic seized him. He rose to his feet and got ready to run like crazy mad.

Laetissa moaned.

Hildreth must have shot her with a tranquilizer stake. He looked at the road. Just a few feet away. I should just leave her behind. She’s none of my concern. All I care about is my safety and my freedom. Everything and everyone else can just go rot.

“I saw what you did to those two campers.”

Hildreth’s voice wasn’t too close, but it wasn’t far enough.

Ambrose’s panic spiked, causing his legs to tremble with the need to run and run and run.

Laetissa mumbled soft nonsense.

“Both dead. Both staked.” He paused. “Interesting. I know that there aren’t any other hunters out here. I doubt that Ambrose did it. I know I didn’t do it. What about you?”

Ambrose backed up, carefully placing his feet. Watching. Listening.

“The sky…so beautiful…colors twirling and dancing and—”

“Did you stake them?”

One step. I shouldn’t leave her.

“Stake? No, it’s my stake. I won’t let you have it. Lovely. Shining…colors everywhere.” Her blissed out tone drained her words of all possible drama.

One step. But I don’t want to be counting daffodils in my head too.

“Your stake? Are you a hunter?”

She giggled. “Hunters hunting hunters hunting…My stake. Mine. Not anyone else’s.”

One step. I should just turn around and run.

“I’m vampire. Tired. Vampire. Tired, drifting vampire. Tired, tired vampire killed hunter’s lover. Oh, I cried. The hunter cried. The hunter was me, but I am a vampire. I had to bite him so hard. My teeth hurt. I still hurt. The hunter. The vampire. I hurt all the time.”

Hildreth’s voice turned gentle and compassionate as he said, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Loss? The sky…spinning bright blue. Sugar..bright, crunchy light. And it’s all snowing bright blue water.”

One wrong step.

A branch snapped under his foot.

“Who’s there?”

He froze.

“Ambrose…He knows about the blue water. Ask him. He knows. Ambrose! Tell him. I’m tired. sleepy…”

Footsteps.

Light, hunter footsteps.

Walking towards Ambrose’s hiding place.

Ambrose didn’t wait to be caught.

He didn’t even waste time with a good, old fashioned swear.

He turned and ran for the road.

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